[LMB] RE: Betan Military

Christopher Gwyn cgwyn at w-link.net
Fri, 21 Dec 2001 19:15:37 -0800

POUNCER wrote:
> Doesn't that whole bit sort of suggest that
> there were real ships, warships or otherwise,
> which had attempted to "force" or "run" the
> wormhole, but had been caught or destroyed
> by Barrayaran blockade?

	or that the Betan commanders had concluded that the Barrayarans
would be expecting Betan warships to be coming through the wormhole.
i think we're pretty safe assuming that Beta does have a space navy
and that it has a reputation of winning when they fight...but that
Betan diplomacy and economic power has apparently kept Betan Battles
to a minimum. 

	i can imagine that several military powers think that they could
beat Beta in a fair fight - but knows that it wouldn't be in their
interest to try to do so. (i think that Beta Colony could still slap
Barrayar down if it needed to...but Cetaganda it might have trouble
with - except that Cetaganda is too many jumps away to pose a
problem. i wonder what sort of political crises the Betan
Astronomical Survey has precipitated in the past...and will in the

> Suppose the charter of the BEF is secondarily
> the liberation of Escobar, but primarily the
> containment of Barrayar. 

	that sounds very Betan.

> To contain them, they'd
> need to bottle up the "exits" from Escobar,
> AND all the other routes out of Komarr.  Or,
> better yet, to sneak around via the Hub, Pol,
> and past Komarr to disrupt supply lines and bottle
> the "invaders" up between Escobar and Komarr.
> Given the chokepoint nature of wormhole routes
> even a few ships in the right spot could make
> a big difference.  But getting those few ships
> TO the right spot would seem to require putting
> many more than a few ships enroute.

	what if those ships were 'already there'? the Betan Astronomical
Survey has a very good reputation - but do they publish _all_ of
their results? i can easily imagine that the Betan military has the
_very best_ wormhole maps around, and that there are several Betan
warships that are posted to uninhabited star systems just a jump or
two from an important chokepoint. 
	the supposed Betan characteristic of overruling orders when they are
an impediment to the goal could serve the Betan military well in such
an operation, making it more a matter of coordinating efforts than
administering efforts. 

	(i wonder how good Betan codes are. i can imagine that coordination
efforts would require sending messages through whatever organizations
are responsible for receiving and re-transmitting messages on the
other side of a wormhole. (the Interstellar Post Office? i like the
name, although i can't think of any text-ev about who does the
re-transmitting. i assume it varies from place to place, but i do
like the idea of a neutral organization that will receive and
re-transmit any message with appropriate payment.))

> And, that the plan, and
> Cordelia,  surprised everybody by suceeding
> is part of the reason she got such hero-worship
> (and uncomfortable scrutiny) upon her liberation.

	the crew of the Rene M. was able to surreptitiously board a
Barrayaran military vessel in space and leave with Cordelia and the
semi-invalid {name?} - all apparently without Barrayaran permission
or training in such activities. Cordelia had probably told her
debriefers about escaping on the ship, running into her crew, and
then completing her escape. the decision-makers know that Cordelia
and her crew are very resourceful people. 
	Cordelia's actions achieved Beta Colony's goals - even if how she
had done so was initially a worrying puzzle to certain
i suspect that at least part of the Beta Colony approach to "foreign
aggression" is to 'seed the area with Betans'. Xav's Betan bride may
have truly loved him, but it wouldn't surprise me if that marriage
had some support from the Betan government...


Christopher Gwyn
cgwyn at w-link.net